May 28 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone says he is open to working with a new race promoter if it saves the embattled Italian grand prix.
With the F1 supremo warning that Monza must pay more to stay on the calendar beyond 2016, Italian automobile club chief Angelo Sticchi Damiani and Ivan Capelli, representing the promoter Sias, flew to Monaco last weekend for talks.
Afterwards, Ecclestone said the situation remains “at a standstill”.
The Italian weekly Autosprint reports that the 84-year-old Briton is offering Monza a new deal along the lines of the Red Bull-promoted Austrian grand prix.
Ecclestone rejects the argument that he is prioritising money over the most historic and traditional European venues on the calendar, like Monza and Germany.
“The tradition used to be that circuits in Europe paid to host formula one,” he insisted, “but now they don’t want to pay.
“So it is they who don’t want to respect tradition,” said Ecclestone.
It is believed that, at the Monaco meeting, Damiani and Capelli made it clear that the EUR 20 million fee reportedly demanded by Ecclestone is too high.
Ecclestone now says: “I wonder if there is a new promoter in Italy who wants to take over the organisation of the Italian grand prix.
“The fact is that the Europeans are still at an advantage over those outside of Europe in terms of how much it costs to host F1.
“We are open to anyone who wants to come forward,” the 84-year-old added, “but those figures will not go down. I made it clear.”